After the success of the sanitation program the housing program was initiated in 1986, following the same R & E approach. Surveys showed that poor people's houses in Orangi had the following defects:

sub-standard manually made concrete blocks - the main building components for walls and foundations - caused cracks

faulty construction techniques, as well as the quick fix attitude of masons and house owners

the existing structure being weak, could not take the load of the conventional RCC roof, for ground plus one construction

lack of ventilation

Two years were spent, on research on these problems and later years, on extension of research findings. Initial research and extension of research findings were in itself action research and so threw up another line of research and extension. The process continues.

Research consisted of:

upgrading the local thallas (building component manufacturing yards) by improving the concrete blocks and roofing components (experiments on ferrocement roofing channels, precast batton tile and tier girder tile roofing).

evolving standard construction design & techniques

preparing standardised steel shutterings

writing manuals and instruction sheets

preparing audio visual aids

demonstrating model units

Extension consisted of:

finding thalla walas willing to participate in research and development ( R & D )

training masons - teaching them improved design and construction techniques and the better use of tools

lending tools and shutterings

providing accurate plans and estimates

R & E reduced the cost and improved the quality of construction. Upgrading the thallas was an important aspect of the work, so a little about it.

Upgrading the Thalla:

In 1987 thru research and extension, first in one thalla (building component manufacturing yard) the block making process was modernized. Instead of the hand process of concrete block production which produced very poor quality blocks, the mechanized process together with other improved techniques was introduced . The result was, the machine made blocks were 4 times stronger then the hand made blocks but sold at the same price. In 1987 three more thallas were mechanized with OPP-RTI supervision and loan. The production and sale in these thallas has been documented. By Feb’15, 53.08 million blocks worth Rs. 235.515 million have been sold, 60% of these have been sold outside Orangi. Following the example of the first four mechanized thallas, 121 thallas adopted the machine making process without any loans from OPP (survey Dec’2006). Orangi has become a centre for the production of mechanized blocks in Karachi. With the blocks sold at these thallas, annually, average 2,500 houses benefit from use of improved building components.

Presently emphasis is on extension of techniques researched earlier and minimizing defects.This is being done by training youths to work as community architects/extension agents and by strengthening the technical support organizations TTRC, TTC and UTC.

Present Package of Advice and Extension:

The present package of advice, (the load bearing technology), is as follows:

Appropriately designed in-situ foundation for a minimum ground + 1 st floor construction

6" thick load bearing walls of machine made blocks

Batten/tile or T-girder/tile roofing and proper fixing methods

Precast staircase

Proper orientation and ventilation

Proper construction techniques

This load bearing construction is 1/3rd the cost of RCC (Reinforced Concrete Construction).

Impact studies were undertaken. Presently i n efforts to facilitate extension of techniques, leaflets based on the study and some more are being extended, by the support institutions TTRC and TTC, to house owners and masons in Orangi, Gadap and other nearby towns.

Construction and Demonstration:

With the introduction of appropriate techniques, the construction units have required careful supervision. Masons and youths have been trained as community architects/extension agents. The training of youths has evolved into support institutions - the TTRC, TTC, the newly formed UTC, as detailed below . Total 552 demonstration units have been completed with 191 masons trained, mostly in Orangi. Since early 2002 TTRC is extending support for house construction in Orangi and the nearby towns. Since 2010 TTC has started similar work in Khairabad/Zobu goth in Gadap town. Since Nov’12 UTC has initiated work in Orangi town. Recently due to the security situation in Goths, TTC is providing its support in the Women Saving Groups of Orangi.

Training, Extension and Documentation - The Technical Training

Training, Extension and Documentation – The Technical Training Resource Centre (TTRC), the Tameer Technical Center (TTC) in Zobu goth/Khairabad in Gadap town and Ujala Technical Centre (UTC) in Gulshan-e-Zia, Orangi town.

Youths trained as community architects setup the TTRC and are managing the extension of the housing program and its documentation: So far plans and estimates for total 597 units were completed (7 this period Dec'14-Feb'15). Of which 220 are schools, where ventilation improvements have been a focus. For 429 units fees was received from owners. On 2 projects preparation of plans and estimates are in progress. Supervision of total 239 projects were completed (4 this period). For extension of techniques TTRC undertakes mobile guidance i.e. units under construction in the settlements are observed and on the spot guidance is provided. Total 261 units were provided guidance, more masons and house owners have come in contact, documentation is ongoing. Lack of proper orientation, ventilation and foundation techniques are the recurring problems in houses and schools. Through on site guidance, leaflets, posters, meetings with CBOs, community activists, masons, schools and house owners, the importance of these are being emphasised. More youths are being trained by TTRC. Its support for area mapping is another important activity as explained in 1.7.3. of the 141 Quarterly Progress Report.

TTC have evolved linked to the Secure Housing Support program (section 3 of the 141 Quarterly Progress Report). Youths trained and guided since June’09 have setup the Tameer Technical Center (Jan’10) in Zobu goth/Khairabad. TTC so far has documented 195 units (13 this period). This documentation shows the lack of orientation, ventilation and technical issues in the houses. The program helps in solving these issues by mobilizing the community through on site guidance, leaflets, sample designs of houses, meeting with masons, house owners and site supervisors. 114 house owners have been motivated in accepting the solutions provided by TTC of more houses plans are under process. Masons, house owners and site supervisors are in regular contact. Efforts to motivate community for tree plantation and growing vegetables had been abondoned due to the focus on initiating the housing program in Orangi town (55 houses owners have planted trees on motivation, a number of houses are also growing vegetables). With contacts restabilished in goths motivation will be under taken in the next quarter. Documentation and technical support to the Cooperative Housing Savings and Loan program (CHS&L group 4) is underway. CHS&LP has been terminated in group 1 & 2 (Model-1) with 38 units constructed and 44 documented in Zobu goth/Khairbad by TTC. TTC has shifted its office from Zobu goth/Khairabad to OPP-RTI’s office premisis (Qasba more) due to the security situation in Goths. A new initiative by TTC; a youth (girl) from Mansoor Nagar, Orangi interested in mapping of housing is under training on drafting and planning. Recently TTC has initiated a training course on basic drafting in Gulshan-e-Saifal Maree goth, Gadap town. 5 students are being trained. The plan is to expand the cooperative housing, saving and loan program in the goths of Karachi with the support of the youths from the community.

UTC: 3 youths of Gulshan-e-Zia, Ghaziabad and Sector No.15 Orangi Town have setup the Ujala Technical Center (Jan’13). UTC has so far documented 105 units (10 last period). It has evolved llink to the CHS&LP and has provided support to 62 units (CHS&LP Model-2 – Group-2). Initially TTRC has provided support to 10 units out of the total 62 units.

Units Documented – Feb’15

Units Documented

Interview (Need Detailing)

M2G1 M2G2
TTC (Jan’10 onwards)
UTC (TTRC) (Jan’13 onwards)

Total units documented = 300

Model -1 – Loan size Rs. 25,000 - 35,000

Model -2 – Loan size Rs. 15,000 – 24,000

M2G1 – Model two group one

M2G2 – Model two group two